PLEASANT HILL – Cornell's baseball team suffered a pair of tough losses to Presentation on a blustery Saturday that saw the teams play through snow flurries at the end of Game 2 at Southeast Polk High School.
The Rams (2-7) surrendered two late leads and dropped the scheduled seven-inning opener, 9-7, in 11 innings. Presentation (7-7) rallied for three runs in its final at-bat to take the second game, 6-3.
Cornell left 19 total runners on base in the two games, and also gave away six unearned runs.
Red-hot leadoff man Joe Gerace paced Cornell's 13-hit attack in the three-hour opener, going 4-for-4 with a pair of runs. The junior, batting .600 on the season, singled home a run in the sixth, and then scored on a balk to give the Rams a 5-4 lead. Presentation sent the game into extra innings with a two-out unearned run in the top of the seventh.
After Presentation scored once in the eighth, Cornell tied it at 6-6 in the bottom of the frame on a one-out double by freshman Jake Lehman. The Rams stranded two runners in the eighth and two more in the 10th.
Presentation finally won it with three runs in the 11th. Max Freilinger added an RBI triple in the bottom of the 11th, but that is when Cornell's rally ended.
Senior Zach Rogers belted a solo homer to straight-away center in the first and finished 2-for-6 with two runs. Freilinger and Lehman also collected two hits apiece. Starting freshman pitcher Jared Henry allowed nine hits and three earned runs through 6.1 innings.
Presentation capitalized on three Ram errors to pull out Game 2, which was tied 3-3 entering the seventh. Junior Kody Karjala pulled Cornell even with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth. Presentation went ahead on a one-out sacrifice fly in the seventh, and tacked on two unearned runs to provide the final margin.
Karjala, who went 2-for-3 at the plate, delivered a run-scoring single in the fourth that tied it at 1-1. Rogers drove in a run in the fifth to pull the Rams to within 3-2.
Sophomore right-hander Beriah Quick fired six solid innings, allowing seven hits and only one earned run. He struck out four and walked one. Tyler Thorne took over in the seventh and was charged for three runs, one earned.
Coming up – Cornell travels to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Monday to face Saint Mary's (7-5) in a doubleheader starting at 7 p.m. in Minneapolis, Minn. The Rams are then scheduled to open the home portion of their schedule April 2 against Central at Ash Park Field.